The ‘mindful drinking’ alternative: Lyre’s launches in the Middle East

Serial entrepreneur Mark Livings is launching his alcohol-free drinks brand Lyre’s in the Middle East.

By Sofia Serrano

Mark Livings in the co-founder and CEO of the non-alcoholic spirits company Lyre’s. This brand is Livings’ fifth multi-million-dollar business. Livings is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur and founder of a portfolio of businesses in the FMCG – CPG (fast-moving consumer goods/consumer packaged goods) sector, including marketing and advertising, logistics and fulfilment, print and merchandise production.

He is bringing his alcohol-free drinks brand Lyre’s to the MENA region. It will be rolling out in the UAE, KSA and wider region in the coming months.

The products will be sold directly from the website and will be available at most high-end bars and restaurants in the Middle East. The whole range will be available, which includes flavours such as Dry London Spirit, American Malt, Italian Spritz, Pink London Spirit, Amaretti and more.

Livings is an enthusiast of food and beverage marketing and advertising, having started his career with Coca Cola, where he found his passion for the industry.

“I got really lucky I landed a role with them early and got to learn marketing from arguably the best marketing company from the last century”, says Livings.

Even though he loved the industry he didn’t quite enjoy the large corporate environment and moved to the marketing agency side. After three years, Livings opened his own agency when he was 29, The Kinetic Agency, which became one of the largest marketing agencies in Australia. He also opened several businesses in marketing-related fields such as branding and promotion, working on projects such as the launch of Italian beer brand Peroni in Australia, and with other clients including Kimberly Clark, Nestle, Procter and Gamble.

Livings is also an active angel investor and advisor and focuses on pre-seed and seed-stage companies where he can leverage his experience and networks to assist and accelerate commercialisation. His investments include a spread of industries including finance, logistics, education, biotechnology, HR, food & beverage, marketing & creative, fashion, FMCG and luxury consumer goods, all with a common focus on innovation.

Apart from being an entrepreneur, angel investor and accelerator, Livings says he is a “mindful drinker”, a philosophy that embarked him on the mission to find alternatives to alcohol, while maintaining the ritual behind gathering over a glass with friends.

In 2019 Livings created and founded what is now one of the largest, most widely available and most awarded non-alcoholic spirits companies, Lyre’s Spirit Co. He says Lyre’s is a booze-free spirit brand, that combines luxury, flavour and elegance in the world of mocktails and alcohol-free drinks.

After extensive research and experimentation to replicate the taste of alcohol without the use of ethanol, eventually Lyre’s came out with formulas that combine extracts of spices such as pepper and chilli, and other plants that come close to the original flavours.

The purpose of the brand is not to convert people to non-alcoholic drinking but to give an option to those who are seeking for a healthier option and still want to enjoy the taste of their favourite drinks. Lyre’s is a brand that “offers tasty alternatives for those who don’t wish to imbibe alcohol, or are looking to reduce their alcohol intake, and aims to ensure everyone can enjoy the mirth and merriment of a soiree”.

With events of recent years encouraging people to look closely at their lifestyle choices, Lyre’s presents a new opportunity for non-drinkers, wellness enthusiasts and mindful drinkers alike.